Lettuce wraps might remind you of eating appetizers at P.F. Chang’s, and the start to a hefty and greasy meal. (That said, I have been known to LOVE a good meal at Chang’s).
The other night I was craving the taste of Asian staples, but couldn’t bring myself to even consider ordering Chinese. MSG? No thank you. Instead, I decided to try my hand at making my own lettuce wraps using ingredients from my pantry and fridge. Apparently I cook a lot of Asian-inspired dishes because I had lemongrass (bottled), soy sauce, and ground ginger already in the apartment.
The entire meal took no more than 15 minutes to make, if you marinate the turkey ahead of time as I did. The shortened cook time enabled me to enjoy my dinner slowly and consciously. I enjoyed the guilt-free turkey, cool and crispy lettuce, and lingering acidic spices. The combination of crunch, heat, and juiciness make this hand-held meal a hit for both nights at home and dinner parties.
1.3 lb ground turkey breast (I used 99% fat free)
1 medium/large yellow onion
1 orange or yellow pepper
8 stalks asparagus
1 head iceberg lettuce
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs lemongrass, minced
1 Tbs teriyaki sauce (Very Teriyaki brand is the best)
2 Tbs teriyaki sauce powder (found in spice aisle of store)
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried and ground cayenne or chipotle pepper (cayenne is a sweeter/cleaner heat, whereas chipotle is a smokier heat)
Place turkey in a sealable, non-reactive container. Add sesame oil, teriyaki powder, 2 Tbs soy sauce, ginger, coriander, and 1 tsp ground black pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate 2-12 hours.
Coarsely chop onion, pepper, and asapargus. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, and slice into half moons. Spray large skillet with nonstick cooking spray, and heat over medium. Add vegetables and satue, stiring occassionally, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 4 minutes. Add lemongrass and stir. Season with salt and remaining ground black pepper. Add teriyaki sauce and cayenne/chipotle, stir; reduce heat to low.
Spray a medium pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Add turkey and stir frequently to break meat up. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Pour meat into vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
Cut core out of head of iceberg lettuce. Gently peal the iceberg into individual leaves, which create your serving cups.
Serve by spooning turkey/vegetable mixture into lettuce cups.